Document 188910

WE
ARE SMARTER THAN
ME
HOW TO UNLEASH THE POWER OF
CROWDS IN YOUR BUSINESS
This page intentionally left blank
WE
ME
ARE SMARTER THAN
HOW TO UNLEASH THE POWER OF
CROWDS IN YOUR BUSINESS
Vice President, Publisher: Tim Moore
Associate Editor-in-Chief and Director of Marketing: Amy Neidlinger
Editor: Yoram (Jerry) Wind
Editorial Assistant: Pamela Boland
Development Editor: Russ Hall
Digital Marketing Manager: Julie Phifer
Publicist: Amy Fandrei
Marketing Coordinator: Megan Colvin
Cover Designer: Ingredient
Managing Editor: Gina Kanouse
Senior Project Editor: Kristy Hart
Copy Editor: Krista Hansing Editorial Services, Inc.
Proofreader: Williams Woods Publishing
Senior Indexer: Cheryl Lenser
Interior Designer: Ingredient
Compositor: Jake McFarland
Manufacturing Buyer: Dan Uhrig
© 2008 by Pearson Education, Inc.
Publishing as Prentice Hall
Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458
Prentice Hall offers excellent discounts on this book when ordered in
quantity for bulk purchases or special sales. For more information, please contact U.S.
Corporate and Government Sales, 1-800-382-3419, [email protected]
com. For sales outside the U.S., please contact International Sales at [email protected]
pearsoned.com.
Company and product names mentioned herein are the trademarks or registered
trademarks of their respective owners.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, in any form or by any
means, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Printed in the United States of America
First Printing September 2007
ISBN-10 0-13-216813-8
ISBN-13 978-0-13-216813-7
Pearson Education LTD.
Pearson Education Australia PTY, Limited.
Pearson Education Singapore, Pte. Ltd.
Pearson Education North Asia, Ltd.
Pearson Education Canada, Ltd.
Pearson Educatión de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.
Pearson Education—Japan
Pearson Education Malaysia, Pte. Ltd.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is on file.
Cover images © 2007 Reimar Gaertner and World of Stock; Jan Tove Johansson/
Taxi/Getty Images; Gandee Vasan/Image Bank/Getty Images
This product is printed digitally on demand. This book is the paperback version
of an original hardcover book.
Contents
Fo reword—Social Networking Works
b y D on Ta p sco t t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii
Authors’ Note—How We Got Here . . . . . xi
01
L ook Wha t We Ca n Do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
02
G o from R&D t o R&WE . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
03
How May We Help We? . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
04
Customer, Sell Thyself . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
05
I f We B u i l d I t, We W i l l C o m e . . . . . . . . . 81
06
We l c ome t o t he Wo rld Ba nk o f We . . . . 1 01
07
Make Ever yone a C-We-O . . . . . . . . . . 117
08
L e a d f ro m t h e R e a r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 25
After word—Join the Crowd . . . . . . . . 143
C omp an y I ndex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 49
N a me Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 5 1
Su b j e ct I nd ex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 53
Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158
This page intentionally left blank
Fo reword—Social Networking Works
b y Do n Ta p s c o t t
Many people emphasize the social aspect of social networking.
MySpace is growing at 2 million new registrants per week and with
over 200 million members, is well on its way to half a billion. Most
college students in the United States are on Facebook. There is a
new blog created every second of every day. Over a million avatars
live in a virtual community called Second Life.
But the smartest leaders see that the profitable word to emphasize
when it comes to social networking is working. Deep down, nothing
less than a new mode of production is in the making.
After all, if you can make an encyclopedia (Wikipedia) via social
networking and mass collaboration, what else could you do?
How about an operating system (Linux) or applications software
(Sugar CRM is one of 125,000 open source applications projects
underway)? How about a mutual fund (marketocracy.com), a peerto-peer lending system (zopa.com), or designer T-shirts (threadless.
com)? How about producing a television ad for the Super
Bowl? Viewers of this year’s Super Bowl XLI watched a Doritos
advertisement that was created and chosen by its customers on the
Internet. Perhaps a complex physical good like a motorcycle? The
Chinese motorcycle industry—now the largest in the world—is
a sprawling network of parts makers with no single company like
Harley Davidson pulling the strings. Or take one of the world’s the
most complicated products—a new generation jumbo jet. Rather
than painstakingly designing its supply chain, Boeing coinnovated
the 787 Dreamliner with thousands of partners around the world
in a mind-boggling peer-oriented ecosystem.
viii
FORE WORD—SOCIA L N ET W OR K I N G W OR KS
In this new world of collaboration, peers often come together to
create value, often outside the walls of traditional companies.
Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble is a perfect example.
Until recently, P&G was notoriously secretive, and it was failing,
punctuated by a stock collapse in 2000. New CEO A. G. Lafley
led the company on an ambitious campaign to restore P&G’s
greatness by sourcing 50 percent of its innovations from outside
the company. Today, P&G searches for innovations in Web-enabled
marketplaces such as InnoCentive, NineSigma, and yet2.com.
These so-called eBays for innovation have led to hundreds of new
products, some of which turned out to be home runs. Five years
after the stock implosion, P&G has doubled its share price and now
boasts a portfolio of 22 billion-dollar brands.
Around the same time, gold-mining company Goldcorp was
in a similar pickle. Its geologists could not determine whether
its ailing mines held any more ore. The corporation was on the
brink of folding. CEO Rob McEwan did something unheard of
in his industry. He published all of the company’s previously
secret geological data on the Web and held a contest to so see
if anyone could help find gold on the property. Seventy-seven
submissions came from around the world, some using techniques
and technologies Goldcorp had not heard of. For $500,000 in
prizes, Goldcorp found over $3 billion of gold and the company’s
market value multiplied several times over. By opening up and
collaborating, Goldcorp’s shareholders prospered.
Predictably however, revolutionary new modes of production bring
dislocation and confusion. They are often received with coolness
or worse—outright mockery or hostility. Vested interests fight
against change. Leaders of the old have great difficulty embracing
the new. Others are concerned that the incentives for knowledge
producers are disappearing in a world where individuals can pool
their talents to create free goods that compete with proprietary
marketplace offerings. People as wise as Bill Gates have argued that
capitalism is undermined by any movement to assemble a global
“creative commons” that contains large bodies of scientific and
F O R E WO R D —S O CI A L NETWO RKING W ORKS
ix
cultural content. They fear that these massive communities and
new business models will reduce the proportion of our economy
available for profitable activity.
The examples in this book suggest otherwise. With more than
a billion individuals around the world connected by a new
multimedia high-bandwidth medium of human communications,
collaboration and teamwork have become the business world’s
biggest drivers of success. Companies are eclipsing competitors
by linking with suppliers and customers to share information,
innovate, and execute. By harnessing the wisdom and ability of
individuals and crowds, both inside and outside their boundaries,
smart companies in every industry are thriving.
This is likely the first book you have read, created in collaboration
with a crowd, and as such, I hope you will remember it and find it
useful. But it won’t be your last. My hope is that it may inspire you
to get involved in the mass collaboration revolution and, in doing
so, engage with others, have fun, and prosper.
Don Tapscott, Chief Executive of the think tank
New Paradigm and the author of 11 books, most
recently, with Anthony D. Williams, Wikinomics:
How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
This page intentionally left blank
Authors’ Note—How We Got Here
Five years ago, when we first had the experience that led to
this book, the notion that a group might be smarter than any
of its members was a complete non-starter. By definition,
groupthink was the lowest common denominator; everyone
knew that a camel was a horse designed by a committee.
Today, thanks to a clutch of best-selling books, we know
better. But even now, although crowdsourcing, wikinomics,
and open-source technology have become buzzwords in the
business world, there is no practical guide to translate those
concepts into usable tools and techniques. This book fills
that gap, describing in detail how businesses of all kinds can
make the wisdom of crowds work for them. It’s intended for
all those businesspeople who want to tap into the power and
talent of the online masses and are wondering how to go
about it.
We stumbled on the basic idea as colleagues in a rapidly
growing startup. One of the companies we acquired
specialized in call-center management. The company had
assembled a group of 200 executives, each of them running
one or more call centers. These people actively collaborated
with each other and collectively knew more about call centers
than just about anyone. So when one of them was faced
with a technical or strategic problem, he or she could turn
to the other members of the group for advice, and count
on getting it. In effect, rather than functioning simply as
xii
AUTHORS’ NOTE—HOW WE GOT HERE
individual managers who turned to consultants for assistance,
the members had learned to work as a community, and
consistently offered each other collective advice that no single
person or consultant could possibly provide.
For Barry, that story triggered the insight that led to this
book. His idea was that companies of every kind could
profitably and cost-effectively make the most of the
knowledge and resources held by communities of like-minded
people, whether they were employees, customers, partners, or
investors. He went on to expand the call-center business into
a company dedicated to helping other organizations tap the
power of community. He called it Shared Insights.
Barry decided that a book was needed to share his rapidly
growing experience and knowledge with a wider audience. But
true to the basic concept, he didn’t want to write it himself.
It should be produced by a community, whose collectively
shared ideas and insights would inevitably be better than any
single author’s.
Meanwhile, Jon was embarking on a new career as an
educator. In 2004, he was named vice dean and director of
executive education at The Wharton School of the University
of Pennsylvania. A few months later, he learned Barry was
looking for a partner to build the community that would write
this book. Soon Jon signed onto the project.
The timing was serendipitous. James Surowiecki’s The
Wisdom of Crowds, which suggested that the masses have an
intelligence that exceeds that of traditional experts, was a best
seller. An even more widely read book, Wikinomics: How Mass
Collaboration Changes Everything, by Don Tapscott and Anthony
D. Williams, was to follow, showing how some companies are
AUTHORS’ NOTE—HOW WE GOT HERE
xiii
using mass collaboration and open-source technology to beat
the competition. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia whose
content is produced by its readers, had become an Internet
staple. Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat would suggest that
not only are crowds smart, they are highly connected and can
do wondrous things. The irony was that hardly anyone except
Wikipedia was actually mobilizing collective writing—as
Surowiecki himself noted dryly, “I alone wrote this book.”
Our book would be the first of its kind, a breakthrough
project. And Jon knew just the right publisher for a book
written by a community.
The year before, Wharton had reached an agreement with
Pearson Education to create and distribute business books.
The two organizations were intrigued by Barry’s proposal, and
thus we began to hammer out an agreement with Wharton
and Pearson as our publishers and supporters of the proposed
book-writing community.
That’s when some hard questions surfaced. With a
community of hundreds or potentially thousands of people
taking part in the writing, who would get what share of the
royalties? Who would own the intellectual property? How
would decisions be made about which chapters to include and
what text to select?
We finally set up www.wearesmarter.org in the fall of 2006.
It explained our goal, and nearly 3,000 people responded
almost immediately. They had all sorts of ideas about how
communities could help businesses and how the book
could be put together. They also requested, appropriately,
that we support the new community with a full cadre of
moderators. Our project was, for a time, overwhelmed
xiv
AUTHORS’ NOTE—HOW WE GOT HERE
as bloggers, podcasters, potential authors, and would-be
editors joined the community. Many also attended the first
Community 2.0 event in Las Vegas. In the end, we found
the actual text of the book, the flow of the topics, and the
graphical design had to be produced in the conventional
way, rather than relying on the crowd to perform these
functions. But it is fair to say that what you are reading is
a combination of our community’s insights from all these
activities and our own research. And the callout quotes you
will find scattered throughout the book are drawn directly
from our members’ wikis, podcasts, discussion posts, and
in-person comments from the Community 2.0 event.
The hard questions got solved. The community agreed that
the royalties would go to charity, and every person who
contributed to the project will have an equal voice in selecting
which charities will get the money.
Furthermore, the online community is still very much alive.
As of spring 2007, there were 4,375 members, 737 discussion
forum posts, and more than 250 wiki contributors generating
1,600 wiki posts. And we are planning another book in which
even more of the community’s case studies and contributions
will be included.
In hindsight, the story of our community-driven odyssey
is an exciting tale, with ups and downs that are not all that
uncommon when ground-breaking initiatives are attempted.
As we point out in the pages ahead, many companies have
benefited hugely from harnessing collective power. But not all
have succeeded. As we will also detail, there are many pitfalls
to be avoided and obstacles to be overcome in tapping the
wisdom of communities.
AUTHORS’ NOTE—HOW WE GOT HERE
xv
If you are willing to take on the challenge, you have a good
chance of being handsomely rewarded. Communities can
help companies—your company—invent new products
and services, improve customer service, boost sales, turbocharge manufacturing, tap into new sources of financing, and
make everyone a leader. They can make your company more
productive, more profitable, and a better place for the people
who work and live there.
This book tells you how to make that happen. Let’s get
started.
This page intentionally left blank
05
I f We B u i l d I t, We W i l l C o m e
There was a time—just a few years ago, really—when
thousands of highly skilled, professional photographers
counted on the licensing of their work by stock photo houses
to pay a big chunk of their rent. Not anymore. A lethal
combination of new technology and crowdsourcing is doing
them in.
This is the way it used to work: To illustrate their wares,
magazines, ad agencies, corporate publications, and film
companies routinely turned to photo agencies that stored
collections of shots by professionals. Customers might have
to pay fees of $100 or more for the one-time use of a photo,
but that was still a lot cheaper than assigning a photographer
to do the job. As magazine circulations declined and ad
budgets were cut, the fees fell, too, but they still provided a
safety net for the pros in an increasingly unstable business.
Enter the digital camera. Suddenly, anyone
with a semblance of skill was able to produce
accurate, attractive images. If the first shot
didn’t work, you could always keep trying
until it did. And when you learned how to use
82
IF WE B UI LD I T, W E W I LL C OM E
“Snowflakes are a fragile thing,
but look at what they can do
when they stick together.”
—FERNANDO BONAVENTURA
IF W E BU I LD I T, WE WI L L CO ME
83
Photoshop, you could make your image even better. If you
had enough friends with digital cameras, you didn’t need to
hire a professional photographer to record your wedding,
birthday, or family reunion.
Enter crowdsourcing. With all those millions of people
clicking away on their digital cameras, millions of images were
sitting around on computers.
Most of the photos weren’t
professional quality, but there
were an awful lot of good shots
just taking up space. So it wasn’t
long before microstock houses, as
they’re known, began to appear
on the Internet to tap that huge
supply of digital images. The newcomers charged customers
as little as $1 for a royalty-free license.
The pioneer was Calgary-based iStockphoto, which giant
Getty Images bought in 2006 for $50 million. The iStock
library holds more than 1.7 million images from 36,000
members, and it has been
blessed with Getty’s advanced
search and index technology,
which makes it much easier
for customers around the
world to find just what
they’re looking for. The
photos might not be up to
the quality you’ll find at Getty
Images itself, but they have been selected by the company’s
editors, so they’re apt to be just fine if you’re putting together
an office newsletter or even a magazine spread. And the price
will be right.
84
IF WE B UI LD I T, W E W I LL C OM E
iStock introduced a payment system that has become the
industry standard. The minimum purchase is $12, which
gives you 10 credits; images cost between 1 and 15 credits per
download. The prices rise with the image size and resolution.
iStock photos are downloaded at the rate of one every 2.5
seconds.
One reason for the site’s success has been its welcoming
content from contributors. The images are accompanied
by symbols indicating how many of their photos have
been sold through iStock and whether the work has been
chosen for special attention on the site. Articles on the site
offer photographic and design advice, and forums enable
contributors to exchange news and
speak their minds. The royalties
many receive are impressive—
exclusive contributors earn, on
average, $1,000 a month. Also,
they’re happy about having other
people see their work.
In this chapter, our focus is on the role of communities in
manufacturing companies’ products or, as in the case of
iStock, content. The advantages over traditional business
models are huge. At iStock, for instance, contributors not
only create the product being sold, but they also deliver it
in a market-ready format and list it in the
appropriate keyword category. With little or
no product inventory expense or traditional
overhead, the company can price the product
far below that of old-model competitors.
IF W E BU I LD I T, WE WI L L CO ME
85
Here are some more examples
of crowdsourcing at work
providing companies with
their content. We hope the
variety will suggest how close
to infinite are its potential
applications—within your
company or any company you
might choose to create. And
take note: We haven’t even
included Wikipedia.
Zebo.com
Joanna Z’s fondest hopes and dreams, she tells her friends
on Zebo.com, include owning a pair of thousand-dollar
Lanvin pumps. When she sees something else she covets, she
drools—and types, “Look at that conical black heel. Sigh.”
Zebo, one of a growing number of so-called social shopping
sites, is home to more than five million young and some notso-young materialists. They travel from one member’s page to
another, taking in each other’s photographs, profiles, blogs,
and lists of products desired and products possessed. By and
large, they are not searching out people for their character
traits or even their looks; it’s their belongings that count. And
if by chance all that windowshopping brings on a buying
urge, it can be satisfied at
ZeboShops, an e-commerce
page just a click away.
86
IF WE B UI LD I T, W E W I LL C OM E
Launched in 2006 by Roy de Souza, a veteran marketing
strategist, Zebo bills itself as “the world’s largest repository of
what people own.” It reflects de Souza’s conviction that young
people today are what they own. “They list things because it
defines them,” he says.
Most members range between the ages of 16 and 25,
although there are kids as young as 13 and some five times
that age. Take “Sircharlie M, 63,
divorced,” who says he owns a
house, a 2004 Chevy truck, and
eight remote-controlled aircraft
that he built himself. Now
Sircharlie is hoping to find “a nice
lady to date.”
There are all sorts of other things to find. Under “Celebrity
Profiles,” you can see “what the stars own and want, as
reported by them!”
Mike James, for one, a point guard who in 2007 signed a
four-year, $23-million contract with the
NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, listed
a plasma television, a Playstation, soul
food, Mexican food, chicken noodle
soup, two pit bulls, tattoos, a Lincoln
Navigator, and a Maserati among his
possessions. His wish list includes “lots
of video games,” a Nissan Quest, and a
Ford F-250 truck.
IF W E BU I LD I T, WE WI L L CO ME
87
At the ZEBuzz forum, you can have real-time conversations
“with other people who are bored, too!” You can start a group
of your own about anything you want.
Product information of sorts can be found on ZE’Answers,
where members pose and respond to shopping- and productrelated questions. One day, Taylor asked about the most
popular cell phone color. Eighty-six people replied to Taylor,
including one who didn’t actually own a cell phone but offered
this comment: “Who cares what
color it is, as long as it works
good? A nonworking phone isn’t
worth having.”
Zebo.com does not enable e-mail blocking, a red flag for some
parent groups worried about cyberstalkers or cyberbullies
pursuing young members. Other critics
say that boasting online about owning
expensive cars, audio and visual
equipment, jewelry, and the like is like
giving a burglar your house keys and leaving
the light on for him.
But it seems more likely that Zebo members will become the
targets of marketers rather than burglars. Regular visitors to
the site willingly provide reams of information about their
product preferences and buying habits, marketable data that
is easily accessible to everyone. That has not escaped the
notice of de Souza, who is also the CEO and cofounder of
Zedo Inc., a Silicon Valley Internet ad serving business.
88
IF WE B UI LD I T, W E W I LL C OM E
Under the heading “See New Stuff,” which
pitches “cool new products from many stores,”
members and visitors are linked to thousands
of items that they are encouraged to rate, blog
about, add to their wish lists, or buy outright. A
foray into this section turned up everything from a $3 “Scotty
Greeting Card from Coi” to a $425 ruby. Clicking on a picture
of a product brings up a rating bar and the question “Is this
[item] in or out?” The viewer then has the option of ranking
the item on a scale of 1 to 10.
There are unofficial merchants as well. Brenda, a selfidentified 52-year-old divorcee, lists 19 items she owns and
lusts for more, particularly from French fashion designer
Louis Vuitton. But if you scroll down to “Brenda’s Zebo blog,”
you discover that she is, in fact, a reseller of trendy designer
merchandise, “straight from the factory floor,” which she’s
selling for “even less than wholesale!!!!!” Her business Web
sites and a phone number are provided.
Whatever you may think of connecting people via their
materialistic yearnings, you have to admit that de Souza has
found an ingenious means of getting a huge community of
mainly young people to supply him with content that draws
ever more of them to his site. That’s what crowdsourcing is all
about.
ThisNext.com
As with Zebo, ThisNext relies on members
to create its content—namely, lists of their
favorite products. Also, like Zebo, ThisNext
provides links to stores.
IF W E BU I LD I T, WE WI L L CO ME
89
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Y
Get emotional. What makes Zebo.com
and so many other community-driven
sites successful is its basic
premise: Young people are
passionate about possessions,
those they own and those they
want. That’s an important
message for anyone thinking about using
crowdsourcing as a manufacturing process.
The crowd will not come to you unless you
touch them where they live. No one wants
to devote time and dollars to a site about
your new brand of aspirin; a site dedicated
to exchanging news and views about pain
control is more likely to succeed.
Y
Get the crowd involved. As the Zebo site
suggests, the more ways you can provide
visitors with a chance to
express themselves, the
more likely they will hang
around and identify with
your operation. Forums,
targeted question-and-answer pages,
ratings systems—they’re all calculated to
keep members busy and involved and eager
to keep delivering up more content. It’s a
virtuous circle.
90
IF WE B UI LD I T, W E W I LL C OM E
When you enter the name of an item in the search bar, you
end up on pages with a variety of nominations and links
to the nominators. We typed in
“surfboard,” for example, and
discovered 22 options, from
miniature surfboard towel
hooks (“They brighten up a kid’s
bathroom,” wrote Jody) to a Rusty
shortboard (“Thin as a chip, turny
but definitely not a flip flopper,”
according to Allyson). In each case, we were informed how
many members recommended an item and what tags were
applicable to the choice (“waves,” “Venice”). We were also told
where the item could be purchased.
ThisNext, once again like Zebo, is known as a social shopping
site. It enables its members to create their own pages with
a photo, a profile, and answers to a long series of questions,
such as “What is the next big step you’d like to
make?” It also allows them to go to other
members’ blogs to find more examples of
their product tastes or simply to establish
contact. And although the member lists
on ThisNext are weighted toward products, they can range far
and wide, from activities (cooking and climbing, for example)
to entertainment (movie reviews), to lifestyles (living green).
In theory, everyone posting products is a private citizen, but
it’s easy for a company’s employees to sign up as individuals
and promote the company’s product. Some consultants
actually advise clients to do so as a means of “building buzz”
around a product. Still, such recommendations are in the
minority. As a member told the New York Times, “I like the
concept of peers, people like me, referring each other to
interesting things. It’s more trustworthy.”
IF W E BU I LD I T, WE WI L L CO ME
91
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Y
Shrug. When you open yourself to the
crowd, you will inevitably find some people
eager to exploit your site for
their own ends. In the case
of ThisNext, for example,
company employees posing
as private citizens are most
likely promoting legitimate
products. If so, you’ll have
a hard time distinguishing
them from the other recommendations. Try
to weed out phony or dangerous products
and improper presentations. By and large,
though, your best bet is to recognize ahead
of time that there will be some difficult
people, and when they show up, shrug.
VirtualTourist.com
This site, which first appeared in 1999, boasts more than
880,000 registered members and 5 million unique visitors a
month. The founders, convinced that the most valuable
travel advice comes from other travelers, envisioned
a wikinomics-style site where people could share
their travel experiences and photographs, and
offer tips about local hotels, restaurants, and
attractions. That’s happened, all right: 1.48
million travel tips on more than 27,000
locations, 2.9 million photos. Forums
enable visitors to ask members questions,
85 percent of which are answered. But members have greatly
92
IF WE B UI LD I T, W E W I LL C OM E
expanded the nature of the site, sharing information about
themselves and making friends. Beyond that, many members
have moved VirtualTourist out of the virtual world. They
are meeting offline, contributing new content there that
eventually finds its way back to the site.
The home page presents a list of so-called travel guides, made
up of members’ contributions. Each guide is organized under
13 main headings, including “Local Customs” and “Tourist
Traps.” In Bangkok, along with ads and sponsored links, we
found connections to a forum about the city and to discounts
on hotels and the like. There was also a list of members,
including a Bangkok resident, who had written about the city.
Members are encouraged to e-mail contributors for more
information.
One of the members who had
weighed in on Bangkok—
SirRichard, by name—actually
lived in Madrid. (His motto:
“When in doubt, move.”) But he
had visited and filed descriptions
of 47 countries, ranging from A
(Albania) to Z (Zimbabwe). The
general descriptions of his visits
might have come from a travel
book, but his tips were detailed,
personal, and, from the vantage point of other Bangkok
visitors, right on target. SirRichard was ranked the fifth most
popular contributor on the site, based on the ratings his tips
had received from other members.
Fed up with glossy travel publications that too often view
destinations through rose-tinted glasses, millions of people
IF W E BU I LD I T, WE WI L L CO ME
93
now tap into VirtualTourist, and dozens of major companies—
from American Airlines to Westin Hotels—are happy to place
ads in a virtual environment that deals in realities.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Y
Vary content. It seems obvious now:
1. The public wants honest, dependable
information about travel. 2.
Travelers love to share their
experiences. VirtualTourist
simply combined those two
facts and created a popular
and potentially profitable
site. The same equation can work for you,
whether you’re hoping to crowdsource
content for an existing company or for a
new company of your own creation. Find
something the public wants and needs;
present it in such a way that an enthusiastic
community will form to meet that demand.
Y
Vary venues. Although so much of today’s
crowdsourcing occurs on the Internet, you
should be alert to other venues. The
offline meetings of VirtualTourist
members are a case in point.
Commercial opportunities abound
wherever a community exists around
an idea or an emotion. The Internet
is the most popular medium for marshalling
a crowd in your behalf, but it’s not the
only one.
94
IF WE B UI LD I T, W E W I LL C OM E
A WORD FROM WE
“So, outside inventors, outside thought leaders,
outside designers to the extent that it makes
sense. We believe that there are ideas out there
that can benefit our company.”
—MICHAEL PERMAN, LEVI STRAUSS
ChaCha.com
Even as you read this, somewhere in or above the United
States, maybe in a nearby house or the next seat on the plane,
a figure sits hunched over a computer, ready and willing to
answer any question you might have about anything at any
time of the day or night. That’s the premise, and the promise,
of ChaCha.com, which was founded in December 2005 in
Carmel, Indiana, by two impatient entrepreneurs.
ChaCha’s chairman and CEO, Scott Jones, invented, at
the age of 25, the world’s most popular voice mail system
(now used by more than 1 billion subscribers). He went
on to establish companies in fields as disparate as musicrecognition technology and robotics. His innovations
show up in Apple’s iPod and in robotic lawnmowers. Brad
Bostic, ChaCha president, founded Bostech Corporation,
which has evolved from custom software development into
an enterprise integration software provider; he also built
NearMed, a telemedicine service for healthcare providers.
IF W E BU I LD I T, WE WI L L CO ME
95
What the two men were impatient about,
back in 2005, was traditional search
engines. It was taking them too long to
sort through the dozens or hundreds
of irrelevant answers provided before
finding one they were looking for. Their
solution was a Web site that combined the
investigative talents of machines and the
human brain.
A ChaCha search starts when you enter a search term.
The instant results are the combination of the best search
technology and so-called hand picked sites from the ChaCha
community of skilled search experts known as ChaCha guides.
If you require further assistance, you can select the option to
work directly with a guide. An instant message chat session
will begin, and a guide will greet you with a typed message
indicating that he or she is ready to help you with your search.
Once a guide clarifies what you need, he or she will find the
most relevant information and display only those links. If
you’re not satisfied with your guide’s work, you can ask for
another.
As of fall 2007, Scott Jones expects to have a community of
about 50,000 guides at work, assisting in providing content,
and 1 million users of the site. The guides are trained and
generally paid between $5 to $10 a search hour—the rate
depends upon the reviews they receive from those they help
and the number of searches they conduct. The success of the
enterprise, all parties agree, will depend on just how good the
guides are.
96
IF WE B UI LD I T, W E W I LL C OM E
ChaCha searches are free; the
founders hope to make their money
in part, at least, from on-site
advertising. Their serious income,
they say, will come when their
service becomes available to cell
phone users via a toll-free number.
Voice-recognition software will take care of simple searches
such as sport scores, and other searches will be turned over to
the guides. The founders predict that advertisers will be eager
to fill the 15 to 30 seconds when callers are on hold, awaiting
search results.
In case you were wondering, the company’s name isn’t a
reference to the cha-cha; rather, it comes from the Chinese
word cha, which means “search.”
Current TV
Viewer-created content, or VC2, makes up about a third
of what’s seen on this 24-hour, San Francisco–based,
independent cable and satellite channel—and, not so
incidentally, another non-Internet crowdsourcing venue. The
work makes its way to the television screen by way of a voting
system in which a community of viewers votes on whether
a five-minute piece of film is worthy to be shown on the
airwaves. But getting the green light from viewers still doesn’t
guarantee air time; Current TV’s producers have the final say
as to which of the viewer-chosen clips are ready for prime
time.
Started by former Vice President Al Gore and entrepreneur
fundraiser Joel Hyatt in August 2005, the channel had a
number of early detractors. The Wall Street Journal ridiculed
it, for example, as “newsless, often clueless, and usually dull
IF W E BU I LD I T, WE WI L L CO ME
97
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Y
Maintain quality. As with many
crowdsourced sites, ChaCha has taken steps
to keep tabs on its content providers by
encouraging customers to rate the guides.
(Need we point out that this approach is yet
another example of the all-pervasiveness
of crowdsourcing? Customers are doing
the work that employees
handle in traditional
organizations.) eBay,
for example, has buyers
rating sellers on everything from the speed
of delivery to the condition of the item
delivered. You have visitors to your site
only as long as they’re getting the kind of
feedback they want, so anything that gets
in the way—any failure in the quality of the
operation—can easily send them searching
elsewhere. Constant vigilance, by employees
and/or customers, is the price of profit.
Y
Go medium rare. So much of
crowdsourcing in this book and elsewhere
is mediated by the Internet, which is, in
fact, the proximate cause of the whole
phenomenon, that ChaCha’s
telephonic twist is welcome
news. The simplicity of the
notion is also attractive:
No need to fire up the computer or type in
search words—just type a few words into the
receiver, and your questions get answered.
It’s as though some Iron Age tool turned
out to be a neat substitute for an electronic
gadget. The serious message is, look upon
every kind of community, on- and offline, as
a potential crowdsourcing partner.
98
IF WE B UI LD I T, W E W I LL C OM E
… a limp noodle.” Based on what’s happened
in the intervening two years, it turns out that
the Journal was the clueless one, seriously
underestimating the power of wikinomics.
Short videos made by up-and-coming
filmmakers, citizen reporters, and the viewers
themselves are constantly grabbing headlines,
and sites such as YouTube, Google Video,
and Yahoo! have shown just how popular
audience-created entertainment can be.
And Current TV has a couple of very important advantages
over these other sites. For one, it has a leg up in ad
production. Companies such as Sony, L’Oreal, and Toyota
show commercials made by Current
TV viewers, and that typically means a
member of the much-sought-after 18to-34 demographic. So besides getting
cut-rate deals on great commercials—
L’Oreal paid $1,000 for a stunning and
sophisticated viewer-created ad that
would have cost it 150 times as much
if produced in-house—the advertisers gain insight into the
changing tastes of younger consumers.
Second—and, in the long run, maybe even more important—
is the distinction between having one’s video appear on a
Web site and having your work
shown on a bona fide television
channel. Put another way, it’s the
difference between a dot-com
company and all the baggage that
term still carries, and a longproven business model.
IF W E BU I LD I T, WE WI L L CO ME
99
The pieces that make it onto Current TV are a varied palette
of trendy cultural items and advocacy journalism that
highlights issues such as the ongoing turmoil in the Middle
East, poverty in Third World countries, the scourge of AIDs
in Africa, and the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.
The Katrina piece, shot by a New Orleans resident, aired
before network news reporters could even make their way to
the city.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Y
Be patient. If the founders of Current TV
had listened to the Cassandras, they never
would have gone on the
air. As it turned out, the
premise of the network has
proved out very well, and
it can now be accessed in
over 40 million homes in the United States
and 11 million households in the United
Kingdom. Even when you find a community
that binds to the premise of your
company—the way many young viewers
bind to Current TV—it can take a while
before they are ready to pitch in with the
quality and quantity of content you need.
The essential element that unites all the businesses in this
chapter is the willingness—indeed, the eagerness—of the
community involved to create product. Year after year, we
see improvements in the technology that allows the crowd
100
IF WE B UI LD I T, W E W I LL C OM E
to produce content. Year after year, we see new online
entries that take advantage of the power of community. The
opportunities are virtually infinite, limited only by desire and
imagination.
In the next chapter, we explore another of crowdsourcing’s
amazing contributions. Suddenly, there are sites that provide
financing for business ventures that might otherwise never
get off the ground. Need a loan? Have an idea for a way to tap
into the huge cash resources of the crowd? The next chapter
is for you.
C om pa n y I n dex
Acer, 23
Advanced Micro Devices, 31
Amazon.com, 6-7, 9, 11, 14, 49,
75, 128
AOL (America Online), 58
Angie’s List, 76
Animal Planet, 65
Apple, 47, 49, 120
Australian Film TV and Radio
School, 30
Bath & Body Works, 14
Bessemer Venture Partners, 108
Best Buddy Pet Products, 101
Blowfly Beer. See Brewtopia
Bostech Corporation, 94
Bradbury Software, 50, 53
Brewtopia, 19, 21-22
Businesspundit.com, 117
Cambrian House, 11, 13-14,
124
Campbell Soup Company, 58
CBS News, 133
Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, 30
ChaCha, 94, 96
Chevron Corporation, 104
Chrysler, 40
Cingular Wireless, 68
Comedy Central, 68
CommonAngels, 109, 111,
113, 115
Cookshack, 43, 45, 47-48
craigslist, 128
Current TV, 96, 99
Dell, 30, 47
Desautels School of
Business, 40
Dixons, 74
Dove, 58
E-Loan, 104
eBay, 11, 49, 97
Eli Lilly, 11, 16
Forrester Research, 5
Fox Broadcasting Company, 68
Gap Inc., 68
Gartner Inc., 144
Gartner Research, 5
Gateway, 23
Gather, Inc. 138
General Motors, 30
Getty Images, 83
Google Video, 98
Harvard University, 30
Hewlett-Packard, 11, 23
Hilton Hotels, 40
Honda, 68
IBM, 14, 31
iConclude, 10
Idea Crossing, 40
InnoCentive, 138
International Dairy Food
Association, 64
150
I N DEX
LEGO, 11
Linden Lab, 30, 33
LiveWorld, 56, 58
L’Oreal, 98
Sephora, 14
Service and Support
Professionals Association, 47
Shared Insights, xii
Skyhook Wireless, 112
Skype, 11
Sony, 98
Southwest Airlines, 135
Sprint Nextel, 36
Starwood Hotels and Resorts,
31
SugarCRM, 33, 35
M80 Interactive Marketing &
Imaging, 66-67, 69
MasterCard, 70-71
McCann Erickson, 71
McKinsey & Company, 5
MINI Cooper, 58
Mozilla, 3
TheBusiness-Experiment.com,
117, 119, 122-123
ThisNext, 88, 90
Thrift Books, 7
Tommy Hilfiger, 68
Toyota, 98
Tremor, 63
Napa Auto Parts, 68
NearMed, 94
Netflix, 49, 50
NewsGator Technologies, 53
New York University, 30
U.S. Postal Service, 40
USA Network, 71
Intuit, 56, 58
iStockphoto, 81, 83, 85
J. D. Power and Associates, 39
Jessops, 74
Kaiser Family Foundation, 146
Kashi, 65
Ohio University, 30
Overstock.com, 49, 77
PMI Audio Group, 55, 56
Popular Inc., 104
Proctor & Gamble, 11, 26, 28,
61, 63, 66, 138
Prosper, 101, 103, 105-106
Redfin, 137
Red Hat, 19
Reevoo, 74-75
Reuters, 30
Virgin Group, 36
Virgin Mobile USA, 35, 38, 130
VirtualTourist, 91, 93
Vocalpoint, 63
WD-40, 65
Whirlpool, 40
Wikipedia, 123
Wired Magazine, 137
WPP Group, 69
Yahoo!, 98
Yahoo! Music, 72
YouTube, 98
Zebo, 85, 87-88
Zedo, 87
Zopa, 106, 108
Na me I n dex
Anderson, Barbara, 8
Anderson, Dave, 8
Ben Folds Five, 31
Bennett, James, 49
Bezos, Jeff, 6, 7, 9, 128
Bostic, Brad, 94
Bradbury, Nick, 53
Bradin, David, 16
Branson, Richard, 36
Brewster, Jack, 53
Bunt, Greg, 21
Burke, Carolyn, 123
Butcher, Daryl, 7
Clauson, Sean, 121
Couric, Katie, 133
Deftones, 66
de Souza, Roy, 86-88
Dunaway, Cammie, 72
Duran Duran, 30
Ellis, Gene, 45
Ellis, Judy, 45
Flanagan, Lawrence, 71
Folds, Ben, 31
Friedman, Thomas, xiii
Geshwiler, James, 110,
112-113
Gibbons, David, 121
Guare, John, 143
Gupta, Sunny, 10
Hedges, Larry, 21
Help Desk Institute, 48
Hicks, Angie, 76
Howe, Jeff, 4
Howell, Denise, 27
Hyatt, Alan, 55-56
Hyatt, Joel, 96
James, Mike, 86
Jones, Scott, 94-95
Kaji, Maki, 24-25
Kawasaki, Guy, 120
Kelly, Gary, 136
Kelman, Glenn, 137
Knox, Steve, 63, 65
Lafley, A. G., 26, 28, 65
Lam, Lyna, 104
Larsen, Chris, 104
Mao Zedong, 125
May, Rob, 117, 119, 122-123
McCumber, Chris, 71
Meyer, Jason, 7
Milgram, Stanley, 143
Miller, Rex, 109
Moore, Johnnie, 22
Mulhall, Liam, 19, 21-22
Munz, Ron, 48
Nagle, Tom, 64
Neupert, Dave, 66-67, 69
Newmark, Craig, 15
*NSYNC, 67
152
Ogilvy, David, 73
Palmisano, Sam, 16
Pelosi, Nancy, 30
Permen, Michael, 94
Pitteri, Donna, 68
Prahalad, C. K., 11
Rathi, Anil, 40
Rivas, Hector, 7
Roberts, John, 33
Robinson, Mark, 4
Rockefeller, John D., 65
Rose, Bill, 47
Samarth, Chandrika, 123
Shakira, 72
Sikorsky, Michael, 11, 14
Surowiecki, James, xii
Tapscott, Don, xiv
Tarhanidis, Peter, 33
Thomas, Joyce King, 71
Thompson, Clive, 137
Townshend, Lyn, 101
Vega, Suzanne, 30
Wetherell, Donna, 61
Williams, Anthony D., xii
I N DEX
Su bj e c t I n dex
A
Adopt-A-Mime program, 38
advertising. See marketing
Amazon Mechanical Turk, 9
Amazon Web Services, 7
angel communities, venture
capital firms versus, 110
Askspace.blogspot.com, 123
Askspace.com, 120-123
B–C
banking. See financing
borrowing. See financing
buzz marketing, 38
Cinematch program, 49
collaboration. See
crowdsourcing
communication, tone of
(crowdsourcing guidelines),
135-136
communities. See
crowdsourcing
connectedness of people,
143-144, 147
content. See manufacturing
cost savings of crowdsourcing,
51
crowdsourcing
Amazon example, 6-11
Angie’s List example, 76
Bradbury Software example,
50, 53
Brewtopia.com.au example,
19-22
Cambrian House example,
11-14, 124
ChaCha.com example, 94-96
CommonAngels example,
109-115
Cookshack example, 43-48
Current TV example, 96, 99
customer product reviews,
73-76
defined, 3
Eli Lilly example, 16
guidelines for, 127
admitting mistakes,
133-134
gathering like-minded
people, 130, 133
leadership, 127-128
monitoring input, 128-130
passion in, 136-138
patience in developing,
139-140
rewards for contributions,
138-139
tone of communication in,
135-136
IBM example, 14
Idea Crossing example, 40
Intuit example, 56-58
iStockphoto example, 81-85
Linden Lab (Second Life)
example, 30, 33
M80 Interactive Marketing
example, 66-69
MasterCard example,
70-71
154
Netflix example, 49-50
Nikoli (puzzle magazine)
example, 24-25
origin of term, 4
PMI Audio Group example,
55-56
Proctor & Gamble example,
26-28, 61-63, 66
for product development,
23-24
Prosper.com example, 101106
Reevoo.com example, 74-75
SugarCRM example, 33-35
TBE (TheBusinessExperiment.com) example,
117-123
ThisNext.com example,
88-90
usage statistics, 5
venues for, 93
Virgin Mobile USA example,
35, 38
VirtualTourist.com example,
91-93
Zebo.com example, 85-88
Zopa example, 106-108
customer product reviews,
73-76
Angie’s List example, 76
Reevoo.com example, 74-75
customer service
(crowdsourcing)
Bradbury Software example,
50, 53
Cookshack example, 43-48
Intuit example, 56-58
Netflix example, 49-50
PMI Audio Group example,
55-56
D–E
Dawn Direct Foam, 63
debating (crowdsourcing
guidelines), 136-138
I N DEX
e.Lilly division (Eli Lilly), 16
employees
accomodating ideas of, 29
relationships with
employers, 144-146
employers, future relationships
with, 144-146
evolution of the Web, 1, 4-5
expertise within crowdsourcing
groups, 114
F
fans of products, locating, 69
FeedDemon news
aggregator, 52
financing (crowdsourcing)
CommonAngels example,
109-115
Prosper.com example, 101106
Zopa example, 106-108
Firefox Web browser, 3
forums. See customer service
G–H
gratitude (crowdsourcing
guidelines), 138-139
group dynamics, understanding
of, 114
Gwabs (game), 14
hui, 104
Homesite HTML editor, 52
I–J
IdeaWarz tournament, 12
incentives for crowdsourcing,
39, 52
Innocentive (R&D network),
16, 28
Innovation Challenge (contest),
40
Internet. See Web
involvement, encouraging, 89
155
I ND E X
K–L
Kakuro (puzzle), 25
leadership in crowdsourcing
guidelines, 127-128
Cambrian House example,
124
TBE (TheBusinessExperiment.com) example,
117-119,
122-123
lending. See financing
like-minded people, gathering
(crowdsourcing guidelines),
130, 133
Linux operating system, 3
loans. See financing
lun-hui, 103
M
management functions. See
leadership in crowdsourcing
manufacturing (crowdsourcing)
ChaCha.com example, 94-96
Current TV example, 96, 99
iStockphoto example, 81-85
ThisNext.com example,
88-90
VirtualTourist.com example,
91-93
Zebo.com example, 85-88
marketing (crowdsourcing)
Angie’s List example, 76
customer product reviews,
73-76
M80 Interactive Marketing
example, 66-69
MasterCard example,
70-71
Proctor & Gamble example,
61-63, 66
Reevoo.com example, 74-75
mass collaboration. See
crowdsourcing
microlending. See financing
milk industry, marketing by
crowdsourcing, 64
mistakes, admitting
(crowdsourcing guidelines),
133-134
monitoring input
(crowdsourcing guidelines),
128-130
Mturk.com Web site, 9
N–O
negative and positive customer
reviews, 77
Nikoli (puzzle magazine)
example, 24-25
NineSigma (R&D network), 28
online customer service. See
customer service
online mass collaboration.
See crowdsourcing
open sourcing. See
crowdsourcing
P
passion (crowdsourcing
guidelines), 89, 136-138
patience (crowdsourcing
guidelines), 139-140
photography. See iStockphoto
PK-35 (soccer club), 19
positive and negative customer
reviews, 77
Prezzle.com, 14
product creation. See
manufacturing
product development
(crowdsourcing), 23-24
Brewtopia.com example,
19-22
Idea Crossing example, 40
Linden Lab (Second Life)
example, 30, 33
Nikoli (puzzle magazine)
example, 24-25
156
Procter & Gamble example,
26-28
SugarCRM example, 33-35
Virgin Mobile USA example,
35, 38
product reviews. See customer
product reviews
promotion of
crowdsourcing, 51
Q–R
Quicken program, 56-58
R&D. See product development
ratings for customer service
crowdsourcing, 57
rating systems, 97
recommendations system
(crowdsourcing), Netflix
example, 49-50
relationships with employers,
144-146
research and development. See
product development
reviews. See customer product
reviews
rewards (crowdsourcing
guidelines), 138-139
S
sales force. See marketing
ScoutPal technology, 8
search engines. See ChaCha
(in company index)
Second Life (virtual
community), 30, 33
Six Degrees of Separation
(play), 143
social-lending sites. See
financing
social shopping sites, 85, 90
Sudoku (puzzle), 24-25
Sugar Mama (cell phone survey
program), 36
supervising customer service
forums, 54
susu, 104
I N DEX
T–U
technical support. See customer
service
telephone searches. See ChaCha
(in company index)
tone of communication
(crowdsourcing guidelines),
135-136
TopStyle Web design
program, 52
travel sites. See VirtualTourist
(in company index)
V–W
venture capital firms, angel
communities versus, 110
venues for crowdsourcing, 93
The Wall Street Journal, 96
weaknesses of products,
discussing in customer
support, 59
Web, evolution of, 1, 4-5
Web 1.0 (stage of Web
evolution), 3
Web 2.0 (stage of Web
evolution), 3
Wikinomics (Tapscott and
Williams), xiv
Wikipedia, 3
Wired (magazine), 4
wisdom of crowds. See
crowdsourcing
The Wisdom of Crowds
(Surowiecki), xii
The World Is Flat (Friedman),
xv
Y–Z
Yet2.com (R&D network), 28
YourEncore (R&D
network), 28
This page intentionally left blank
Acknowledgments
Since the premise of this project was to involve a large number of people in the
creative process, writing a brief acknowledgements section is a unique challenge.
But the contributions of a small group of people stand out and deserve to be
highlighted.
Tim Moore, Vice President at Pearson and Publisher of both Prentice Hall
and The Financial Times Press, provided discipline when we most
needed it—best summed up by his typical refrain, “Hey, folks, we need to get this
community up and running and a book from them finished.”
Tim and the Pearson team were the project’s emotional drivers relying equally
on enthusiasm, irritation, and encouragement to keep us moving toward an
actual, tangible end product from this groundbreaking social networking project.
Tim’s prodding and his willingness to view the process as an experiment helped
immensely, and we are grateful for his and his team’s encouragement and support.
Donna Carpenter and Maurice (Mo) Coyle drove the bulk of the research and the
writing which was derived from the community’s contributions and from leaders in
the social networking market. They are masters of the written word, and their skills
are largely what made the contributions of the community so readable and easy for
those interested in social networking in their companies to understand. This is not
the first book that has benefited from their unique abilities and, we are certain, it
will not be their last in partnership with emerging business communities. We deeply
appreciate their efforts.
Isaac Hazard had the most difficult job among us—to coordinate the day-to-day
activities of the community and all of its constituents. To say he did so with grace
and calm would be a gross understatement; a better characterization would be to
note that despite the chaos and panic that engulfed a community-oriented project
on a regular basis, Isaac kept everyone on track and, somehow, got the community
to work as “one”—sharing their collective wisdom with each other. Thank you, Isaac.
Tom Malone from MIT was deeply involved in the design of many aspects of the
community, from the approach to offer incentives to the community contributors
to the open source license we used to capture the wisdom of the community. He
brought an academic’s discipline to the discussion, and reminded us that we were
engaged not only to publish a book but to experiment with a process that was
unique and groundbreaking. His questions and ideas significantly strengthened the
initiative, for which we are grateful.
Jerry Wind from The Wharton School supported this community initiative from
its earliest days, and we are proud to publish this book under Prentice Hall
banner. Jerry has an extraordinary ability to see value in ideas from their
earliest stage of conception, but also to add value to those ideas at every stage of
development. His contributions are much appreciated especially during the most
difficult moments.
Finally, we are indebted to a group of people we have never met, and who—as far
as we know—have never met each other. Ten individuals from our community
volunteered to be “chapter leaders” to help monitor and guide the discussion of
various chapters in the book. They did so when the role of chapter leader was
largely undefined, and they performed their role ably and without compensation
or (until now) recognition: Lilly Evans, Ryan Mykita, Greg Krauska, Margot Sayers,
Olivier Amprimo, Joe Flumerfelt, Rich Luker, Bruce Hazard, Mel Aclaro, and Rui
Monteiroour deepest thanks. The project could not have proceeded without you.
We were also ably assisted by a tremendous team. Many thanks to:
Shared Insights
Michael Libert
Isaac Hazard
Charlotte Daher
Robin Rose
Joe Tremonte
Shanon Mckenna
Shannon Di Gregorio
Mia Encarnacion
Jim Storer
Gary Bellardino
Aaron Strout
Erika Halloran
Mark Wallace
Chris Edwards
Stephen Marcus
Marketing, PR, and Design
Peter Himler
Giles Dickerson
Mark Fortier
Pearson
Tim Moore
Pamela Boland
Julie Phifer
Megan Colvin
Kristy Hart
Jake McFarland
Amy Neidlinger
Russ Hall
Amy Fandrei
Gina Kanouse
Cheryl Lenser
Dan Uhrig
Wharton
Carol Orenstein
Tracy Simon
Yoram (Jerry) Wind
Matt Schuler
Wordworks
Donna Carpenter
Ruth Hlavacek
Cindy Butler Sammons
Maurice Coyle
Larry Martz
Robert W. Stock
MIT
Thomas Malone
Sean Brown
Tammy Cupples
Stephen Buckley
Paul Denning
Legal
Scott Soloway
Karen Rivard
Chapter Moderators
Lilly Evans
Greg Krauska
Olivier Amprimo
Rich Luker
Mel Aclaro
Ryan Mykita
Margot Sayers
Joe Flumerfelt
Bruce Hazard
Rui Monteiro
Board Advisors
Philip Evans
Helen Rees
Jimmy Wales
The Helen Rees Literary Agency
Joan Mazmanian